ABOARD USS NASSAU (NNS) -- USS Nassau (LHA 4) is educating its Sailors and their family members on ways to establish savings goals and put money aside for the future as part of the Military Saves Week held Feb. 25 through March 4.
The Military Saves Campaign is designed to encourage service members and their families to set financial goals and develop financial awareness, education and knowledge.
Nassau's Command Financial Specialist, Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SW/AW) Barbara Walsh's top priorities for this campaign are offering Sailors practical counseling, financial assistance and education.
"The theme for this year's campaign is called Operation Financial Freedom. I am excited to be a part of this program, and I will give training on SMART goals. [The "S" in SMART] stands for specific to you, something that motivates you. [The "M" stands for] measurable, [the] ability to watch it grow; [The "A" stands for Action]. Start that allotment, open that account. [The "R" stands for] realistic; make your goals attainable. [And, the "T" stands for] timely. Set a starting date and an ending date," said Walsh.
"I really like this part of the collateral duty because I am helping to educate the future of the Navy."
Whether in port or at sea, Walsh attempts to take every effort to talk with as many Sailors as she can about financial matters in their lives.
"I am here to talk to anyone who may just have questions or issues concerning finances, car buying or any other aspect of money issues. Seminars are held at the Fleet and Family Support Center for car purchase and house buying and I would recommend it, especially to first-time buyers. Also, when someone comes to talk to me, I don't judge people, or talk to anyone's supervisors. I take this duty seriously, and whatever we talk about in my office is all strictly confidential," Walsh said.
To be eligible as a command financial specialist (CFS), there is basic training involved. This education is presented in cooperation with Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Personnel who attend must be a first class petty officer or above, have command approval, and have at least one year left at their current command.
"In order for a person to become a CFS the criteria that must be met [includes]: the person must be financially savvy, one who communicates effectively with others, and must be in E-6 pay grade or above position to fill this particular command collateral duty," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Rick Makowski.
"There are military and civilian people out there to help Sailors out with consolidation loans, or it may just be something we can handle here on board Nassau. Either way, educating Sailors is our best defense," added Makowski.
As part of the Military Saves Campaign, lectures were held on Nassau's mess decks daily. Lectures included: car buying, Thrift Savings Plan, budgeting, house buying, credit reports and debit/Navy cash.
For related news, visit the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.